Characters: Ryo, Bikky, Dee.
Setting: After the manga.
Summary: It’s Bikky’s eighteenth birthday; what better way to celebrate than with a party?
Word Count: 877
Written For: Challenge 279: Amnesty at fan_flashworks, using Challenge 42: Candles.
Disclaimer: I don’t own FAKE, or the characters. They belong to the wonderful Sanami Matoh.
With careful fingers, Ryo pressed the last small black candleholder, complete with its tiny red birthday candle, into the frosting of the cake. He’d really taken his time with this one, wanting it to be perfect; eighteen candles, on a square cake, covered with snowy white frosting and little sugar-paste basketballs, the words ‘Happy 18th Birthday, Bikky’ piped in red. All the Bulls’ team colours represented; his son would appreciate that.
This was a very special birthday; you only turned eighteen once, and come the fall Bikky would hopefully be starting college. His school coach seemed pretty certain Bikky could count on being offered at least one full scholarship based on his basketball skills. Scouts from all over the country had been at many of Bikky’s games over the last season, checking him out, assessing his potential. If he did get into college that way, who knew where he might be by the time his birthday came around again? There was no guarantee he’d get offered a place at a school close to home.
It was difficult for Ryo to get his head around the fact that Bikky wasn’t a kid anymore; he was practically a man, already taller than his foster father, and with some growing still to do. The past eight years had gone by so fast; this could be the last time they’d be together here in New York for Bikky’s birthday, and Ryo wanted everything to be as perfect as possible. The party food was ready and laid out on the table, along with plates and silverware so everyone could help themselves to whatever they fancied. The cake candles were the final touch; all that was left was to light them just before Bikky was due home from school. The party was just going to be a small family gathering so Bikky could go out and celebrate with friends later if he wanted to.
As Ryo checked everything one last time to make sure he hadn’t forgotten anything Dee arrived, having picked up Carol and her aunt on his way over. He eyed the food with interest as he came over to join his lover.
“That’s quite a spread! You sure you’ve made enough?” he teased.
“I hope so, but keep your hands off it anyway; we don’t eat until Bikky gets here.” Ryo knew his partner only too well.
“How long’s that gonna be? I’m starving.”
“You’re always starving; hollow legs, just like Bikky. He should be home in about ten minutes, so make yourself useful and keep watch out the window. Tell me as soon as you see him; that should give me just enough time to get the candles lit on his cake.”
With a long-suffering sigh Dee mooched his way over to the window throwing a longing glance at the laden table as he passed.
Ryo’s plan worked perfectly; he’d just gotten the eighteenth candle burning brightly when the door opened and Bikky came in. He stopped dead in the doorway as the people who made up his family chorused, “Happy birthday, Bikky!”
“A surprise party? I should’ve known you were up to something,” Bikky said, grinning at his foster father.
“It’s a special day, Biks; you can’t have your eighteenth birthday without a party. Now blow out your candles before they start dripping wax on your cake.”
Bikky didn’t need telling twice, blowing them out with a single breath and closing his eyes to make a wish. Ryo didn’t need to guess what the wish was about; Bikky had only one dream in life, to play pro basketball. He’d been working towards that goal ever since Ryo had known him, but a little divine intervention wouldn’t go amiss.
Later on, after they’d all eaten until they were stuffed, Bikky followed Ryo into the kitchen, where he was making coffee.
“Thanks for this, Ryo. The cake was awesome, a real work of art; hope the pictures come out.”
Ryo had snapped off several shots of Bikky with his cake before it was cut, which was a good thing since there was less than half of it left now. It would all probably be gone tomorrow; cakes never lasted long around Bikky.
“You deserved it; eighteen is a special age.” Ryo smiled, but after eight years Bikky could see right through him.
“There’ll be other birthdays, it’s not like this is the last one. Even if I get accepted into a college miles away, I’ll still try to make it home for my birthday and other special occasions.”
“It might not always be possible though.”
“Maybe not, but there’s still the phone, internet, skype…”
“I can’t send a birthday cake by email, or even regular mail!”
Bikky laughed. “Well, that just means you’ll have to bake one for me when I do make it home, even if it’s a bit late. You know how much I love your cakes, and I know you like baking as much as I like eating what you make.”
Ryo nodded; Bikky was right, he baked whenever he had the time, and he’d make time for it if there was someone special to bake for. “I can do that.”
After all, cake was good for any occasion. He’d bake one for his son’s homecoming anyway.